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RIA: Radom’s Vis 35: Poland’s Excellent Automatic Pistol

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In the 1920s Poland began looking for a new standard military pistol, and tested a variety of compact .380s. The representative from FN brought along an early iteration of the High Power (along with their other entry) even though it was much too large and heavy to meet the Polish requirements. After a couple iterations […]

RIA: Norwegian M1914 Kongsberg Colt (Video)

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After a series of pistol trials, Norway adopted a copy of the Colt 1911 in .45 ACP as its standard service pistol in 1914. A license was purchased from FN (while under German occupation, interestingly) to produce the guns locally at Kongsberg, and production ran slowly and sporadically until German occupation in WWII. At that […]

Le Français .32ACP Pistol (Video)

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The Le Français was a staple of Manufrance production, being first designed in 1912 and produced until the late 1960s. This example is in .32ACP caliber, which was only made for the commercial market in the 1950s and 60s (after the cartridge was out of service with the French military and thus civilian-legal). It has […]

Viet Cong Handmade Luger Lookalike

Vietnamese Luger lookalike

In the continuing occasional series on crude handmade firearms, we have an entry sent to me by a reader on Facebook (thanks!). It’s a Vietnamese Luger lookalike, which was being sold by Arundel Militaria in the UK (and no, I didn’t buy it – it was already sold when I first saw it).

This […]

Swedish Hamilton Trials Pistol (Video)

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The Hamilton was a handgun entered into the Swedish military pistol trials of 1903, where it competed against guns like the Luger and Colt/Browning 1903. The Hamilton was a simply blowback action chambered for 6.5mm Bergmann, although it did have the interesting and unusual feature of a bolt which pivoted on a round path during […]

Grant Hammond .45ACP Trials Pistol

grant hammond

The Grant Hammond .45 pistol is a gun which was too late to take part in the major 1907 US military pistol trials, and which was instead presented proactively to the military in hopes of supplementing or replacing the current issue pistol (the Remington M53 falls into this same category). Unfortunately for Mr. Hammond, his […]

Schlegelmilch Automatic Pistol

Schlegelmilch automatic pistol

Aside from being one of the more unfortunately-named early repeating pistols, the Schlegelmilch is also one of the earliest and more unusual mechanically. It also the only example I am familiar with of a pistol made entirely with square-headed bolts rather than slotted screws, for what it’s worth.

Schlegelmilch, right side (click to enlarge)


Savage .45 ACP Pistols – History & Disassembly (Video)

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In the US pistol trials of 1907 that eventually led to the adoption of the Colt/Browning Model 1911, the two strongest competitors to the Browning design were the Luger and the Savage. Luger declined the opportunity to participate in extended field trials, and so the two finalists were Browning and Savage.

Savage had their original […]

Knoble Automatic Pistol, Cal .30 (Video)

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The Knoble in .45 caliber was one of the pistols in the US pistol trials of 1907. Unfortunately for Mr. Knoble, his pistol was deemed to crude for the Ordnance Board to consider even test firing, and it was dropped from the trial like a hot potato.

Knoble only made a handful of pistols in […]

Savage Automatic Pistols: Overview (Video)

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Today I am taking a look at Savage automatic pistols as a general group. Savage produced about a quarter million pistols in both .32 and .380 caliber, divided between the models 1907, 1915, and 1917.

What are the differences, and what was the timeline of their development? I’ll go through all of this, and also […]